Can YouTube be wrong?

Tags: English, technology, opinions, life, politics
Created on Tue, 29 Jun 2021

No. This is simply, mathematically impossible.

YouTube (Google/Alphabet) is not made of people. It's made of omniscient gods. I am one of them, therefore it must be true.

So when YouTube puts this in their guidelines:

YouTube Community Guidelines

It is impossible that they (we) are wrong.

"OK, " - a mere mortal might ask - "Why are they (you) claiming this? Joe Rogan invited that guy that you talked about the other week and this new doctor dude to talk about some medicine. They seem calm, rational and calmly talking about evidence-based research, just look:"

Ah, so you are watching this outside of the exclusive deal that Rogan has with Spotify, you filthy pirate! How dare you!? Also, why are you going after this far-right idiot? He is American comedian, podcaster, and UFC color commentator - not a medical doctor! He likes being controversial, that doesn't mean he is right. There is a reason he is mostly off our platform now - other than some clips here and there

"OK, " - a shithead like you will say - "How about Dr. John Campbell with >1M subscribers on YouTube talking about a study called Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection - a peer-reviewed, Systematic, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines"

One-doctor science does not make! He is not even a medical doctor but a nurse with a PhD. Besides, these are small-scale studies made by clinicians, not our trusted fact-checked sources, we need clinical studies! Stop spreading missinformation, it's hard enough for us.

Let me answer your stupid, uninformed, conspiratorial question. Just let me warn you that once you start going into questioning the dogma of the times, you are a conspiracist, you dumb, dumb flat-earther! What now, we didn't land on the moon?! How far-right you've gone - there is only left and far-right - either you are with us or you are crazy!

Few things, you 9-11 denier:

C'mon: Think logically.

So we stand by banning discussion about content that we are experts in. We are the elite programmers in the world and therefore we also understand medicine and the whole world also, basically.

What would it mean for all this to be true?

</sarcasm> (which means ""end of sarcasm", you stupid non-programmer people. Why are you not a programmer? You should be! If you inspect the code of this article, you will actually see that it starts with a <sarcasm> tag meaning this whole thing was exagerated for fun. Stop doing other stuff that interest you and start programming, learn the truth! Okay, really </sarcasm>)

It would mean that really all the conspiracies that we've known so far, some of them linked above, must come true. That really all the trustworthy, hundreds of years old media, newspapers and agencies with decades of experience, agencies that have successfully eradicated smallpox in the past - have all been somehow manipulated.

But what about not manipulated but silenced?

Removing videos from the most popular video platform with a large stroke will inevitably have some rate of false negatives - i.e. videos that speak something "true" but are removed due to general guidelines.

Is it possible that a lot of doctors (or otherwise claimed authorities) are shutdown in the past >year (another programmer's thing: meaning "more than a year", just really: learn it already!) have been discredited and "cancelled" by the common narrative? How would we ever have Galileo's or any of the people that challenged the status quo in science?

The people in the Joe Rogan video might be wrong. But it's really, really hard not to listen to them. They don't sound like so called "conspiracy theorists". They don't sound like "anti-vaxxers" in general. They may be showing true data that needs to be discussed - but I'm not in a position to understand what the data really is - that's why we have specializations like doctors.

For sure, I see the point of YouTube and folks - it's a hard problem to allow true science while blocking quackery. There will be false positives and false negatives. You don't want everything to be questioned - that's the equivalent of a Denial of Service attack. Especially at a time with Prisoner's dilemma sort of choice in which the strategy of "wait until everyone else vaccinates" wins against some possible, albeit rare, side effects of the fastest vaccine in the world.

But these folks don't question everything. They question the following: * TL;DR(W): Is it possible that a particular medicine, from which companies won't have profit because its patent has expired, be somehow hidden from recommendations for public use so that vaccines are pushed to "emergency authorization" mode quicker to benefit BigPharma?

That's a much narrower question than "the whole pandemic is a scam".

They are also talking about possible under-reported adverse side-effects from the vaccine. Even YouTube's guidelines say that they prohibit "Claims that any medication or vaccination is a guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19". So why should this vaccine be different?

I urge you to watch or listen to Joe's podcast on his official Spotify thing. I download and host copies on my own self-hosted peertube because I don't know anymore what dissapears from the Interwebs and I don't want to have Spotify account. I guess until that podcast is still hosted officially, and you don't mind having Spotify account, it's probably best to listen to it there so that somehow he gets the $$$.

So, to sum up: I have no idea what I'm talking about but you go, listen to the show and tell me they are all crazy people. Listen to the whole thing that is, not excerpts, and tell me they don't make sense to you.

Then go to this DarkHorse Podcast Clips channel (while it still exist), watch some clips and tell me these folks don't know what they are talking about. I'm pretty sure they are wrong about some things but they don't seem arrogant. Is it possible that they are one of these Russian propaganda machines and they are doing a double-subversion - i.e. being pretty good experts but just throwing in miss/diss-information for the sake of confusion? Sure.

I could be completely in the rabbit-hole now. I could've succumbed to negativity bias and went too far. I'm trying to balance and it's getting really hard to know what's true...

Normalizing what used to be taboo

I stopped watching US comedians a few months ago. Perhaps a month or so after their election. Why? Cause I felt what I have felt in my home country with a particular Bulgarian ex-comedian that is soon going to become president, prime-minister or I don't know what: extremely politically biased.

For me a true comedian is true to themselves. A political comedian will target mostly the current in-power. It would be a similar spin to proper news-information media but with in a fun way.

US comedians I believed are like that for some time. But they are not. They are annoyingly political.

However, a couple of weeks ago, this old legend came to a the new host of The Late Show and threw a bomb, ridiculing the ignorance of the Lab Hypothesis until a month ago:

The current host was struggling to contain him. Maybe it was an additional layer of skit to his comment (otherwise, highly probably, would've been taken down or not promoted by the show producers). But I feel a struggle in Colbert, a struggle that he has been wrong.

How many people have been wrong during this pandemic about one thing or another? I for sure have been - I've admitted that in the beginning I thought it's "the next scare from the media". Then I run the numbers and convinced myself that is serious. But I didn't have to - there were strong enough messages from canceled flights to events, work from home and masks everywhere. I'm pretty sure every single person has been wrong on some level, about something during these turbulent times.

But how easy is it for people to admit they have been wrong. Multiple. Times.

We divided into camps. Pro-masks and anti-masks. Pro-lockdowns and anti-lockdowns. Pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine. Communication between the groups became less and less as people got tired of convincing "the other side". Once you are in one camp, you accept all the other opinions of the group around you. You conform - you have other things to worry about. You isolate the messages, you get tired of digging for the truth as it is so difficult and hazy anyway. You don't want to switch about anything to the other side - you will lose your friends and people who have been with you during these times. The other group may not accept you for being a traitor anymore.

BigTech is not the only one at fault, but it helped the divisions. Showing "similar" or "recommended" videos and posts from what you already are like, it limits what you will see on the other side. But even if it didn't - you don't want to see it. You are scared of going to the other side or even learning about them. They are idiots or "libtards". "Nazis" or "soyboys" (I'm not good with this new terminology).

Journalists are people too. Tech are people too. People working in the big agencies, are people as well. They also chose camps.

And when the vaccination is so important to be done quickly any kind of hesitation will put off some people. So block this. Don't talk about this.

Tech people have had the mantra that "the user is drunk" for too long. That means - don't trust that the user is smart or is going to read anything - just present them with the easiest choice and easiest pre-digested information.

140 characters for "in-depth" information. Clickbaits journalism. Videos that are at most 10 minutes long or if they are longer - cut them into chunks of "ideal" 10 minutes.

Then it became worse.

Memes and infographics. Infinite scroll. Dancy videos. Always consume, never think. Or when you think, you may be conspiracist.

Then it became even worse.

Propaganda. Bots. Fake accounts. Fake groups. Fake fake accounts. Fake fake bots. Real bots behind fake people. Thousands and millions of unknown profiles, looking convincing. We lost what is true and how to know it. We depend on BigTech to figure it out with "AI, Blockchain or Big Data". But it's still mostly humans and some way-from-ideal technology that makes all sorts of errors.

All was good until some stupid elections in some third world countries were maybe manipulated and we all had a good laugh out of Brexit or Trump.

And now lives depend on these companies to be arbiters of science and truth.

We won't tell you the exact risks that are for you individually - we will group you under large cohorts and give you aggregated statistics, assuring you we've done the calculation for the global good for you. It doesn't matter if you had COVID before or not. It doesn't matter what is the current herd immunity - you still need to get it. We've calculated the DALYs and other risk-benefit calcs. And it seems like a stronger message from the politicians that "everyone needs to get vaccinated" rather than having a more gray approach - after all, you want to travel, don't you?

What if we are wrong?

Well, then, you can't sue us. It's emergency and we make billions, so all is good. We won't open source the vaccine or remove patents, even if that will accelerate the process.

We are fighting the good fight - removing missinformation. And if some legitimate information gets also removed - well, then - it's emergency, there is no responsibility. We are a private company, you chose to participate by clicking "I agree" and wanting the "cookies".

We control the information so that you don't have to.

The Internet was not supposed to be like this... But the monopoly game is in its final rounds and it shows.